Because I love kids

Kids. Man, I love working with them. After retiring from a very full and rewarding teaching career a few years ago, I realized this week that the magic left my teaching career when I could not get my students to smile. It had to do with bureaucracy, too much testing, and the inordinate amount of work expected to be completed, in the manner in which is mandated, and not by my own brain. Created in a cookie cutter manner by a panel of “experts” with outcomes in mind. I served on a curriculum committee for 20+ years and I can accurately point to data to back up the claim that student performance began to slide when MEAP tests arrived in Michigan. It was this type of standardized learning that

Teenagers 101

​ I just finished reading The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. It was a deeply moving story that was told through the eyes of a young girl, as her parents and she try to navigate the rugged unspoiled frontier of Alaska. Although there were many uncomfortable chapters of domestic violence, what struck me most was the evolving adolescent brain of the narrator. When the homestead first began, perspective was given through the eyes of a ten year old. Her vision of this move to the frontier was one of excitement and adventure. As she developed and moved into early adolescence, her point of view turned more onto herself and her personal situation than that of her family. She began to become turned

You are Never Too Old to Learn

So, have you ever wondered why you are so outgoing? Can you talk to strangers easily? Does silence make you feel uncomfortable? Recently I was among a group that was given a personality trait analysis from Midwest Consulting Group. Paul, the leader, was super effective in how he brought about our results from a recent questionnaire. It was gratifying to note that, in general, many of the members of the group felt their “traits” were in full bloom. Even more interesting was the fact that all traits of humans are neither good nor bad. They are simply the way we are. It is not rocket science, really. A person’s traits are readily seen or brought about as they grow and develop. As one interacts

My Barrette

June is busting out all over! Yay! Schools are out. Teachers and students together give a collective sigh. In the meantime, summer program planning is ramping up. I first visited summer camp in 1965. Subsequently, I attended every year through high school. I would like to say I looked forward to it, but honestly, I was a nervous wreck the minute we got into the car. I dreaded the swim test, the nurse visit (they dipped the thermometer in rubbing alcohol between camper’s mouths), and the preliminary introductions of bunkmates and counselors. But I always returned. As an adolescent, I really wasn’t sure about how cool camp was anymore. I didn’t want to be pushed into activities I didn’t want t

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